Harper Lee has agreed for To Kill a Mockingbird to be
made available as an ebook
and digital audiobook, filling one of the biggest gaps in the digital
In a rare public statement released through her
publisher, HarperCollins, Lee said: "I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty
old books and libraries. I am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived
this long. This is Mockingbird for a new generation."
The announcement came almost a year after she sued her
former literary agent Samuel Pinkus to regain rights to her novel. Lee claimed
she had been duped into signing over the copyright.
The lawsuit was settled in September. Lee's attorney,
Gloria Phares, said at the time that the case had been resolved to the author's
satisfaction, with "her copyright secured to her".
The Pulitzer prize-winning novel will be released
digitally on 8 July.
With digital holdouts from JK Rowling to Ray Bradbury
changing their minds over the past few years, Lee's novel had ranked with JD
Salinger's Catcher in the Rye as a missing prize for ebook readers.
First published in July 1960, Mockingbird has sold more
than 30m copies worldwide, and that total is climbing by more than 1m copies a
year, according to HarperCollins.
It was adapted into a 1962 movie of the same name that
featured an Oscar-winning performance by Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, the
courageous Alabama attorney who defends a black man against charges that he
raped a white woman.
The audiobook will be a downloadable
edition of the existing CD narrated by Sissy Spacek. HarperCollins is also
releasing an "enhanced" ebook that will feature additional material.
Spokeswoman Tina Andreadis said the extra features had not yet been determined.
Other works still unavailable as ebooks include The
Autobiography of Malcolm X and Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of
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To Kill a Mockingbird
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